Tuesday, July 30, 2013

English is so Hard!

I use to be a Bilingual teacher transitioning students from Spanish into English.  Spanish is such a lovely language with no silent letters and few exceptions to its rules.  English is not, it's a real bugger because it is made up of dozens of languages and we never stick to the rules we have as to spelling or pronunciation.
For Example:

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find
that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea
pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't
groce and hammers don't ham?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.If
you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do
you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be
committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise
man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your
house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?
(Found on the internet long ago, I can't remember where)


And Then There's This:
These are excerpts from various Richard Lederer articles and the anonymous poem, "The English Lesson." Similar lists circulating in e-mail exchanges and listservs with minor variations. This particular adaptation appeared on the ChaucerNet listserv. The earliest individual passing it along in that chain was Nicholas C. Burbules, Department of Educational Policy Studies University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, though he himself is not the compositor.
1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. I did not object to the object.
11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race which, of course, isn't a race at all.

It's no wonder I took early retirement!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Notes on a Monday

The bugman came today to give us our quarterly spraying, if you live in the south you either have your house sprayed regularly or you live with some serious bugs.  Bugwise things haven't been too bad this year and surprisingly enough we aren't even having much trouble with mosquitoes, and given the amount of rain we've had that's down right amazing.  The bugman says that inland the mosquitoes are really bad.
Learned something while reading my new Southern Living magazine, it seems that the Rose of Sharons  we grow here are actually a type of Hibiscus.  Who knew?  I mean, I knew my Confederate Rose was a Hibiscus developed for the south, but I didn't know the Rose of Sharon was too.
My Hibsicus

My Confederate Rose

My Rose Of Sharon

I've felt the need to read something a bit more philosophical lately so I ordered an old copy of the 10th anniversary book of Calvin and Hobbes.   Calvin, the wee imp in the cartoons, is named for the 16th century theologian who believed in predestination and Hobbes, the tiger, is named for a 17th century philosopher with a dim view of human nature.

It should be a good week of reading and thinking deep thoughts.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sweating Like a Pig.....Not!

I'm sitting here with sweat running down all over me because I made the foolish decision to do a little house work today.  And as I sat here that old saying "sweating like a pig" ran through my mind, but of course pigs don't sweat or rather not enough, they have too few sweat glands and so have to wallow in mud to cool themselves off. Doing some Googling I found out that all land mammals sweat to some extent, dogs and cats through their paws and by panting, horses and cows sweat quite a bit, particularly horses.   The primates and horses have sweat glands all over their bodies.
I also learned that mammary glands are modified sweat glands, how's that for bizarre.
But back to my main subject, I guess I should be sitting here saying I'm sweating like a horse!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Neighbors With Dogs

Let me begin this by saying we like dogs, we don't currently have one, but through the years we've had a number of them.  All the dogs we've had were of a good size, German Shepherds, English Sheepdogs, Lab mixes.  We're not small dog people, when we have a dog we want a DOG.
Our next door neighbor has been a good neighbor, she works long hours and is seldomly home and when she's home she's inside.  In other words a really quiet neighbor.  That is until she decided that though she's seldomly at home she needed a dog, not a good sized dog (she had one of those when we first moved here a golden retriever named Buck---he was wonderful-  he use to go walking with us every morning), no, she got some yippy, little, hairy monster that she throws out the back a couple of times a day and at night----usually around 2am--- and all he does is sit out there and bark his little head off.   We hate him and it makes me wonder about our neighbor.  Like I said, she's gone all day till well into the evening and the dog is in the house doing, well, you know what he's doing, that's why he barks when she puts him out---he doesn't need to go outside he's already done.
Why would you want a dog if you were never home to enjoy it?  She owns her own business she could take him to work with her, but she doesn't, we've seen her leave in the morning after she's put him outside for his morning bark.
You use to be one of our favorite neighbors, not so much any more.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beyond the Ouch

So what have I been doing besides complaining about how much my toe hurts?  Well a bit of this and a bit of that.  While running through Pinterest one day I noticed someone had made a miniature ironing board to have near their sewing machine and I thought what a clever idea.  We had a wooden table that sees little use so I cut fabric and insul-brite (heat resistant batting) and stapled it to the top of the table and voila' a miniature ironing board.

I also made new pillows to go in our chairs in the pub room, he got autumnal animals and I got winter ones.

My toe is finally feeling a bit better so maybe I'll find something more active to do.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


While putting up dishes yesterday afternoon a large, heavy mug jumped out and landed on my pinky toe.  It is sore, bruised and swollen, hopefully not broken, but oh it hurts.  Soaked it in warm water with epson salt this morning and Mac wrapped it in cotton balls and taped it up.
Much shorter walk today, it was rather a case of slide, moan, step, moan, let's get this over with.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flying a Falcon

This is a painting Mac's working on and watching him paint it reminded me of one of our trips to England.  In 1996 we would be traveling all over England and spending some time in the Stratford on Avon area  which meant we could visit one of my favorite places, Mary Arden's Farm in Wilmcote.  We've visited it a number of times and always enjoyed it, it looked like a place where real people had lived and in fact they had up until the 30's.
Attached to the farm is a falconry and when visiting there the year before we discovered that I could do a half day falconry course, so when we returned home we booked my day.
What a thrill!  I, along with 4 others (the course is limited to 5 people), were given a short course in falconry, practiced how to tie the jouses one-handed, and walked around the village with a falcon on my arm, a Luggerette Hawk (a Middle Eastern hawk and quite hefty).  Returning to Mary Arden's Farm I was able to get my hawk onto its perch and tie it down one-handed.  I then flew a Harris Hawk and a Great Horned Owl. What an incredible day.
Watching Mac paint this picture makes me want to go and do it again.

An Amazing Day


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Oh Be Still My Heart

When I heard the news I was almost overcome with joy.    We've had a number of films made here in Savannah, James McAvoy was here to make The Conspirator , Alan Rickman to make CBGB, Miley Cyrsus to make The Last Song, John Travolta to make The General's Daughter, but the news I heard last night tops them all.  Hang onto your hat, in September The Sponge Bob SquarePants Movie II will begin production in Savannah.  Squeal!!!!  The chance to see all your favorites:  Sponge Bob, Squidward, Patrick, Sandy.  It's almost too much to believe.  Aren't we lucky!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Midsummer Heat

I know it's July, I know it's the middle of summer, I know it's supposed to be hot and I know it's actually been cooler than normal, but oh my Lord it's  hot and humid today.  Too hot to crochet, too hot to walk, but we did it anyway, too hot to exercise, yet I'm sitting here sweating like a piglet after doing it, too hot to garden, too hot to think, not that I do much of that in the summer anyway.  If I were a cat I'd just stretch out somewhere, but I'm human with a little too much conscious so I try to find things to do to make me feel less guilty when I lay around.
Our electric bill wasn't too bad last month because we were gone for a week and the cat doesn't know how to turn on the air conditioner.  But we've been home this month and running it a lot, both because our daughter was here and because I'm tired of melting.
With an all electric house we try to be careful, there are ceiling fans in nearly every room, we also have floor fans and a portable air conditioner (they're cheaper to run than the whole house one) for our bedroom.  I don't walk into a room without turning a fan on, but I don't turn lights on till after dark.  I don't use my dishwasher (it's easier to wash dishes for 2 people than to wait for the dishwasher to fill up) and I don't use my dryer, I hang clothes outside.  So I'm careful, but I know, without a doubt that this month's electric bill is going to be a doozy.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

So True!

This is sad, but true.  I visit Amazon daily and though I try to restrain myself I find that a  large part of my credit card bill at the end of the month is dedicated to Amazon.
I console myself that I mainly buy used books, particularly the penny (plus shipping) ones.  I really limit what I buy for my Kindle, looking for bargains and freebies.
I use my library as much as possible, but what they have for Kindle is mostly things I will not read.
I've tried yard sales, but either people don't read or they read things I'm not interested in.
Amazon on the other hand knows me all too well and makes it way too easy---we're talking one click 2 day delivery here--so I just have to budget carefully and I'd say lock my credit card up, but I know my credit card number by heart, that says a lot.

I borrowed the picture from: beanforest.etsy.com who makes very amusing pins.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sad For a Friend

A friend lost her son this week and I feel so sorry for her.  He died of Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), he picked the day to let go and he left us on Monday July 8.  We met Robert and his family in Turkey where his father and Mac were stationed.  We became fast friends and through the years though time and distance have separated us we've stayed in touch.
We have met up with our friends from time to time, but not with their children, so in my memory Robert will eternally be the chubby cheeked boy who was so full of energy, interested in computers, scouting and life itself.
He grew up and followed in his father's footsteps and joined the military where he served in Iraq, and that's where it all began.  Coming back from overseas he worked with the Wounded Warrior Program, but noticed that things were not right and began seeing doctors who diagnosed ALM.
We were shocked when they told us 2 years ago about the diagnosis and even more shocked that others in his military unit had the same diagnosis.
I did some research and discovered that serving in the military, particularly after the Gulf War makes you more than twice as likely as a civilian to suffer from this illness.  In 2008 the military acknowledged this problem and listed AML as a military connected disease and makes veterans eligible for treatment and benefits.
Robert was only 36 and leaves behind a wife, 2 children, a sister and 2 grieving parents.
My heart goes out to them, to bury your child has to be the most heart breaking thing to happen to a parent.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Because I've been diagnosed with pernicious anemia I have to take a vitamin B12 shot once a month.  In the beginning it was once a week, so this is better or so my arms tell me.   I'd like to say it gives me lots of energy, but because I have the disposition and metabolic rate of a tortoise the shots have a lot to overcome.  So we'll just say I'm working my way up to turtle speed and hope to achieve sloth speed soon.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Holiday Over

It's over.  She's gone and things return to what passes for normal around here, except for the brush hogging going on next door.
It was a great 4 days, ribs were barbequed, marshmallows roasted, and fireworks exploded.
We went to our favorite German Restaurant for her birthday---Zum Rosenhof and tons of Schnitzel, Wurst, Spätzel and Hazelnut Torte
Tour of Germany--Jaeger Schnitzel, Zigeuner Schnitzel, Wiener Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Kartoffel Salad, Brotchen

were consumed.
Jaeger Schnitzel with Spätzel
I always try to get movies she hasn't seen so we watched The Artist, the winner of the 2011 Academy Award for best picture and best actor, Mac and I had seen it and though she'd like it.  A black and white, silent movie and so well done.
Then just for fun we watched The Addam's Family because I love Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston in it.
Lots of time for talking, relaxing and just enjoying having her here.  But all good things come to an end and she flew home last night.  We won't see her until Thanksgiving and that seems such a long, long time.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Go Away!

We took my car in for servicing yesterday, tried to walk some--it rained of course--so in lieu of sitting in the deep freeze that is our dealership's waiting room we went over to the local fast food place for breakfast.  Normally we don't do fast food, but we'd had no breakfast before venturing our and decided that you can't do much damage to scrambled eggs (lot we knew) so breakfast it was.
The place was fairly full, the drive thru was busy the whole time we were there and it took forever to get our food.  The coffee was so strong you could have removed paint with it so I watered it down with faux cream, a substance that has never known a cow and has more polymers than nylon, and instead of the scrambled egg breakfast I thought I was getting I got a cup of grits, minus the cheese I'd said to leave off, runny scrambled egg on top covered with a glutinous looking sausage patty, plus a biscuit.  I put the eggs on the biscuit, gave Mac the sausage and did my best to ignore the grits which appeared to have the consistency of Elmer's glue.  Mac had gotten a bigger breakfast and shared his pancakes with me.  Nothing was particularly good, but we were hungry, that is until a group of people spread over several tables began to play the "Do you know so and so game?"  Only this was the medical version, " Do you know so and so, he's got prostate cancer and bladder cancer?"  " I know him didn't his wife die earlier this year?"  "Yes, she had breast cancer."
Was this a bunch of old ladies?  No, a bunch of men!  Ick, go away, eating in this place is bad enough without General Hospital being played.
We finished quickly, got my car, did some grocery shopping and both had upset stomachs the rest of the day.  Don't know if it was the food or the conversation.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Dribblings

Pre-Retirement Me
I use to hate Mondays, but retirement has totally changed my attitude towards them, nice day, no work, no alarm clocks, slept till 9, so hello Monday.
Well the computer room is still not clean and the way things are going it might just stay uncleaned.  It was so hot this morning I decided to clean the refrigerator, it needed it and the weather demanded it.  I left the door open the whole time, ran a fan and the kitchen was almost cool.
The cat drags herself around like a small, furry  martyr demanding we turn the air conditioner on, but unless she has a secret bank account some where there are limits to how much we can run it.
I cleaned the stairs again today and I'm announcing it right now---I WILL NOT CLEAN THEM AGAIN  ---- until new carpeting is put in--they're horrible and no amount of cleaning will help them.

Well, pardon the more than 3 hour interruption, a rather belligerent thunder storm rolled through here and I was forced to shut down my computer.  It's still dribbling a bit but otherwise it's been   quiet for awhile.  We've had rain nearly every day forever it seems, but this is the first thunder storm in a while.
The house is fairly clean now and except for the fact that weeds are now nearly as tall as the house it looks pretty good.  Have to take my car in for an oil change tomorrow, I think we've put about 100 miles on it since the last change, but the lease says it has to have an oil change every 6 months, so that's where it's going tomorrow whether it likes it or not.  Then my favorite indoor sport, grocery shopping. Looking forward to our daughter's visit this week, she's looking forward to escaping work and the cat, no doubt, is looking forward to pouting, she usually does when her "sister" visits.
Ought to be a good week.
Retired Me

                               GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS Anyone who blogged with Janet knew she was a huge livelong fan of ...